Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Top Tips for Improving Your SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those baffling marketing terms with which most business owners are familiar, without necessarily appreciating exactly what it means, or how it can be used as an effective tool to drive sales and growth.

In a nutshell, SEO is a marketing discipline which focuses on organically growing your website’s visibility in search engine results. By ‘organically’, we mean via methods which are not paid for. For example, if you were to search on Google for ‘widgets’, the search results on that first page will relate to those companies whose websites are best optimised.

Why is this important to your business? Search engines produce targeted traffic – people looking for the services you provide. Commercial search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, are the primary source of traffic to your website and if they can’t find you, you could be missing out on numerous inbound sales enquiries. And if your competitors’ SEO is performing better than yours, their business will grow, potentially at the expense of your own.

This may sound very technical, but even a little knowledge can make a big difference on a small budget. There’s plenty you can do yourself to improve your website’s SEO performance and help your prospects find you more easily online.

Here’s our top 10 tips to get you started…

1. A website is never finished. If you want your site to continue to rank higher and attract more visitors, you should regularly add new content. Short sharp blogs, news or team pieces are an excellent way to do this.

2. Optimise your website for mobile users. Your site needs to be clear and simple to use for people accessing it via smartphones and tablets.

3. Set-up and use Google Analytics. This free software will show you how many visitors your site receives, the keywords they use to find it, and what pages they visit. You can then tailor your content accordingly to get more hits, and keep visitors on your site for longer.

4. Create content for people, not search engines. There’s no point creating content that ranks well if it doesn’t help people, interest them, or persuade them to buy from you. Write useful content, then carefully embed a few keywords relating to your service.

5. Make your content engaging for visitors. The more engaging it is, the longer people will stay on your site, and high viewing times mean good rankings. Videos are useful for this.

6. Add a blog to your website. This is a quick and simple way of regularly adding new content.

7. Avoid keyword saturation. You’re more likely to be penalised than credited if you use a keyword phrase repeatedly on a page (see point 3 above).

8. Every page of your website should be linked to at least one other page. Search engines don’t include pages in their results that do not have links to them either internally (from another page of the same site) or externally (from another site).

9. Link out to relevant websites and blogs. There’s a good chance that if you link to someone’s site, they will link back to yours. In a search engine’s eyes, this link back suggests that your content is useful to others, and they will give your site a higher ranking accordingly.

10. Use social media. Regular posts on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook demonstrate to Google that you are actively trying to engage with customers and prospects. This in turn leads to a higher ranking in the search results.

If you would like us to take a look at your website with a view to improving how easily you can be found on search engines, please contact us today on 023 8060 1635 or smartsales@smartmarketinguk.com.  

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